Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival canceled

The city’s Waterfront Department, out of concern for the health and safety of staff, festival partners and event attendees, decided to cancel the October event.

SANTA BARBARA—The Santa Barbara Waterfront Department announced the annual Harbor and Seafood Festival, an event celebrating the waterfront’s commercial fishing industry held every October, will not take place this year. 

“We have been closely monitoring the situation with Covid-19 and out of concern for the health and safety of our staff, festival partners and event attendees — and in line with Santa Barbara County Health Department advisories on large gatherings — we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event,” Waterfront Department staff said in a released statement.

The free festival celebrates the harbor’s vibrant fishing industry, delicious seafood and the hard-working people who harvest it. The event typically featured more than a dozen food vendors serving fresh-caught fish, oysters, mussels and crab and prepared dishes including fish tacos, seafood paella, barbecued albacore, clam chowder, seafood paella, sea urchin “uni” and more. In addition to food, the event also featured dozens of other vendors including face painting, clothing, jewelry and custom artwork. 

Last year’s event also featured fire boat demonstrations from the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol, dockside tours from the U.S. Coast Guard of the Cutter Blackfin and free boat rides aboard Azure Seas and Santa Barbara Sailing Center’s Double Dolphin. The 1770s privateer replica The Spirit of Dana Point also visited and was available for dockside tours.

Those interested in fresh, local seafood can still visit the weekly Fisherman’s Market every Saturday at the City Pier from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information, visit Local seafood is also available for purchase seven days a week at the Santa Barbara Fish Market in the harbor. For more info or to order online go to Get Hooked Seafood also offers home deliveries of locally caught seafood. Visit for more information.

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